Wellbutrin Stopped Working- Please Help!

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Jill Grand Says:

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I am desperate for support and hoping I can get some advice from people who may have had a similar experience.

I feel like I'm drowning- like the life has been sucked out of me.

I've felt depressed ever since I was 12 years old. I wasn't suicidal, but I felt a general lack of motivation for life. I couldn't find happiness in anything, and just getting out of bed was a struggle most days.

At age 21 I decided to do something about it and got a script for the generic version of Wellbutrin XL (300mg) for roughly 2 years. In the beginning it was a miracle drug- I was able to get out of bed in the morning, I was super motivated, lost some weight, and felt like a normal human being- until at some point it stopped working, so I tapered off and eventually quit taking it (I didn't replace it with any other med).

To make a long story short- it was a terrible idea. I became moody and irritable, I gained 30+ pounds, and generally felt like a zombie. I slept for hours, couldn't go out, every movement was a struggle- I left as though I had been hit by a truck.
So I went back on a month later- 300mg. It wasn't life changing. It took the withdrawals down a notch, made me a tad less irritable and zombie-like, but still no motivation for life, no reason to get out of bed, no weight loss, no energy to move. My life was just blah. It was like a blanket of numbness covered me, I could feel no real sadness and no happiness either.

It's been a year since I went back on. I keep taking the pill every day (although I do need to be more responsible about not missing doses and taking it at the same time every day), because I don't want to experience the withdrawals I felt the first time I quit. But it's come to the point where I refuse to continue experiencing life as a shell of a person. I want to experience life the way it's meant to be experienced. I am surviving, but I haven't felt alive in far too long.

So…I am asking you: what do you recommend? Up the dosage to 450mg? Try an SSRI (I am scared of these, as weight gain and loss of libido would both make me super depressed)? Add an SSRI together with Wellbutrin? Get name brand Wellbutrin instead of generic? Please help. I feel like I am falling apart :(

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Vin Says:

Omg you sound exactly like me right now. I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you, because I'm looking for the exact same type of advice...but I just want you to know that I am going through the EXACT same thing right now, to a T. I've been taking 300 mg of generic Wellbutrin XL for the past 6 months... miracle drug at first, lost weight, life was awesome... within the past month all of that has slowly gone away and everything is just so blah. Not happy, not depressed/suicidal...just nothing, I'm not excited about anything. I don't look forward to anything, I feel zero pleasure. I just increased to 450 mg last Monday and I have felt no difference so far except my head feeling extremely foggy and just generally feeling out of it..it almost feels like my body is going through withdrawals from being so immune, even though I'm still taking it. So, I feel your pain! I'm looking for the same advice! I don't know what to do or what other med I can try

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Jill Says:

I'm sorry you're going through this too, it truly sucks :( I'd rather be sad than numb. Has your doctor ever suggested adding another drug? I have a friend who just started Lexapro and she's doing amazingly well on it. I would be too scared to gain more weight with Lexapro on it's own but I wonder if maybe the Wellbutrin will cancel out the weight gain. But at the same time I don't really want to be on a cocktail of meds.

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Vin Says:

I feel the exact same way about the weight gain. The problem for me is that I've already tried all of the SSRIs , including Lexapro and Celexa, and never had any relief. I don't think serotonin is my issue. Wellbutrin is in a class of it's own so I honestly can't think of any alternatives besides Adderall or something like Provigil , but I know those are out of the question with my doctor. She doesn't like to prescribe anything controlled, but I'm seriously running out of options to the point of having no other choice eventually, which stresses me out even more to think that I may need to think about looking for yet another new doctor in the future who might be comfortable with it, which is a project all on it's own. Have you ever looked into a tricyclic like Desipramine? I read that it works primarily on Norepinephrine and to a lesser extent, serotonin. It seems to be weight neutral, as far as I can see. I'm thinking about bringing it up to my dr next week, but she also doesn't like tricyclics because they're old medications. She Isn't leaving me many options. I know what her next step will be, tell me that I should try therapy instead of meds lol. The fact that my mind is so slow and foggy right now is only making this so much more confusing and difficult to figure out. Keep me updated, maybe we can help each other with this

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Jill! How are you?

Have you considered trying Prozac? It is an SSRI, but isn't known to cause the weight gain that others do and the libido issues also don't occur as frequently with it.

The FDA lists its typical side effects as possibly including nausea, dizziness, headache and dry mouth.

I can also personally attest to not gaining weight on it. I've been taking it for over a year and am still just as tiny as I was, when I started it.

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floribunny54 Says:

I was on Wellbutrin back like 2000-2001 or something. It worked great for my depression, I hardly smoked at all (2 packs a week instead of a pack a day), and no sexual dysfunction, in fact that was one of the reasons I had to stop taking it. This med increased my sexual arousal to the point of pain! Constant pain in the genitals. I tried it again a few years ago to try to stop smoking. It was too stimulating, hyper, didn't have the sexual problem yet, and didn't decrease my urge to smoke. My psych NP said it has something like being stimulating-hyper. I forget what she called it.

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Laura Says:

I completely understand what you are going through. I have been on Wellbrutin SR for over 4 years at 200mg twice a day (400) and have been great. My doc switched me to 300mg of the XL last week and it has been terrible. It is like the drug doesn't metabolize in my system at all. I have also heard through a Forbes article that the 300xl generic has not been checked/evaluated like the other dosage (150) and many people are not having any results. If you want to get out of bed try switching to the SR version and since the generic of this can be up to 20mg lower than the brand, you could lose an extra 40mg a day from the generic. Generic may have the same active ingredient but it is perfectly legal to be 20% less, besides the fillers are different so if you have digestion issues try for the brand, you will get better!

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HappyNow Says:

Hello! I came across this forum when my Wellbutrin (bupropion) 450XL a day wasn't working! Yes, 450XL. I am a 30 year old full-time college student and CPhT (Licensed Pharmacy Technician) of 6 years. I was on wellbutrin 150XL and then bumped up to the wellbutrin 300XL once daily to stop smoking. Worked perfectly and lost weight! But I am a student and the wellbutrin 300XL made me feel a little too space to remain organized with 5 classes and work. So I went back down to 150XL and I started taking adderall (don't do that) so I could get through school but that helped very very little. I was slowly going back to the "blah-ness" I had before. So I started taking the 300XL once daily again. Well it didn't work it's magic this time and I couldn't loose the weight again. I stopped smoking but I still had the blues and didn't really enjoy anything. It was terrible!! So........I went to see my doctor. He did blood work and I had almost no Vitamin D and I was Folic Acid deficient. My doctor read the results and put me on Deplin, a medical food aka vitamin if you research. IT SAVED MY LIFE! I take Deplin 15mg, Methyl B-12, Vitamin D and Wellbutrin 300XL. Amazing! I lost my weight again and I'm back to the "happy place" I had when I started the wellbutrin all together! My body wasn't absorbing the nutrition I needed to metabolize and absorb the Wellbutrin. I encourage everyone to talk to their doctor about Deplin! There is a difference between B-12 and Methyl B-12. The chemical structure is different. I take the Methyl B-12 with the Deplin because if you are Vitamin B deficient the Deplin won't do much at all. I did a lot of research before taking anything but I'm SOOOO glad I gave it a shot! Research Deplin (formulated Folic Acid) and Methyl B-12!!

I hope this helps! Good luck to you all!

-- Oh and if anyone has anxiety, research NAC (N-Acetylcysteine). It is a vitamin that relieves anxiety and stress. They even have time-released now. My husband started taking Wellbutrin 300XL and he really benefited from it but he then started to have anxiety so he now takes a time-released NAC in the morning with his Wellbutrin 300XL. He reports no more anxiety :)

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cjbernardo2 Says:


I wanted to share my experience with Wellbutrin over the last year or so - how it worked initially, completely crapped out, and how I resurrected it's effects.

After no success with years of experimenting with SSRI's, I was finally prescribed Wellbutrin. I won't spend much time on how miraculous it was for me, but suffice to say it changed my life.

Then after 3 or 4 months, everything started to wear off. I was heartbroken, and sent down a deep depression.

Again I will spare the details of the journey, but I became absolutely set on fixing this issue.

I am incredibly thankful that I discovered 2 solutions that brought back the effectiveness of the medication. I know that many people will take issue with the first solution, but if you are as desperate as i was, you will try anything.


The first thing I researched was manufacturing defects. I found that they are rare for prescription medications, but they do occur. I requested a change in manufacturer in my generic Wellbutrin, and the changeover was instantaneous and unmistakable.

1a..The original manufacturer of my meds was Impax. Once I switched to another manufacturer (who i cannot recall at the moment) the effectiveness returned.
1b. I live in spanish harlem, and at the time, i was trying to support local businesses by buying meds from a mom and pop pharmacy. It might be possible that they are not as well supervised as chain pharmacies and
had given me expired medication or something like that.
1c. the other possibility is that the common knowledge about generics is wrong. It's possible that the switch from one variant of the drug to another brought back its effectiveness. I have a background in meds and know that most pharmacists will tell you this is not true.

The second discovery was that supplements of the amino acid Tyrosine brought back roughly 70% of the effectiveness of the original effect. I don't know if this would work for everybody. I think it worked for me because my digestive system is pretty screwed up. I have issues with gluten, and I am also lactose intolerant. My personal belief is that my body is not able to manufacture the dopamine that I need because of an inability to digest or absorb the necessary amino acids. At the moment I take 1000 mg every day on top of my 450 mg of Wellbutrin. I have also been experimenting with something called DopaBean, and will continue to see what increases efficacy even further.

I use NOW brand L-tyrosine 500mg at the moment from Amazon.

Please write me back if you have further questions.

{edited for privacy, affiliate link added}

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Manu Says:

My experience with wellbutrin:

I used to research a lot in different forums and never found a solution to the problems i was facing so thought of sharing my experience..

As most of you might know there are some generics out there in the market and then there is the brand.i had tried some four different generics (dont remember the manufacturer's name) and none of them work, same is the case with the brand name from canada. I normally try for 8 weeks before making a decision to change manufacturers to make sure whether the side effects that i notice in the beginning subside after couple of weeks or if the
drug gets effective after some time.

Finally i realized that the only thing that works is brand name wellbutrin manufactured by valeant for united states. The reason i say "for united states" is because i believe its manufactured at canada for supply to united states and canada but the canada supply is total crap.They look exactly the same except for the color of the marking, its black for US and orange for canada.

Brand name wellbutrin:

Wellbutrin xl comes in 150 and 300mg. I started with 150 and the five things that i noticed that improve with 150

- Mood
- Motivation
- Energy
- Focus
- Libido

And the side effects that i had initially were dry mouth and difficulty sleeping if taken in the evening. These side effects subsided after a couple of days. After some 6 months, my doctor wanted to increase the dose to 300mg as he says that's the normal dose. I was reluctant as i was fine with 150 but with went ahead with the doctor's suggestion and i have noticed some improvement:

- Mood
- Motivation
- Energy
- Focus
- Libido
- Lose in Appetite and thereby reduced weight (i believe this works for people who overeat).

In the case of 300mg, i initially tried one dose of 300mg in the morning and was feeling drugged. Then i tried two 150's in the morning, this was better than one dose of 300mg but was still not very happy. Then i tried two doses of 150, one in the morning and one in the evening at around 4 and it was perfect. One side effect that i noticed was the tiredness throughout the day. This side effect subsided after 2 weeks.

Brand wellbutrin xl not working anymore:

This happened to me twice and looking at the forums i realize there are three options...

1. Talk to doctor and increase the dose.
2. Change the medication
3. Medical vacation- try the same med after a gap and hope that it works.

But i was sure that it was some problem with the medication, called up the manufacturer, gave the lot number printed on the bottle and got a new supply shipped and both times it worked. This made me realize that there can be a bad lot even with the brand.

The biggest challenge, this medication is unaffordable. The cost of the brand is somewhere around 1600$ for a month's supply without insurance. Some of the methods to make it affordable are:

1. Get the discount card from the manufacturer and the price comes down to 5$. The problem here is that this card acts as a secondary insurance and you will need a primary insurance that will not pay for the brand name. The pharmacist can help you on this.

2. Get a cheap insurance that negotiates and brings down the price to point of sale. This means that you will get the drug at the price that the distributor sells at. The problem here is this price will still be somewhere around 400$ a month.

3. The hospitals dont keep the drug post the expiry date, so you can get it cheap/free with the letter/prescription from the doctor. The medication will work well past the expiry date. You can talk to your doctor.

I hope that my experience will help someone facing a similar situation.

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Jay Says:
via mobile

Jill (# 2) --

I been suffering from the two similar explanations to this post. Just feeling flat. I normally get excited and thrive on fun stuff but nothing seems to be working. My life is blessed I have a great family great kids and currently a new great job. Still nothing seems to spark any real joy. My doctor did try adding the Lexapro. For me it did not work. I did gain some weight that didn't bother me so much. The doctor then upped the dosage after three weeks. I gained another pound or two then spoke with the doctor and decided to stop this particular drug the Lexapro did not seem to benefit me. I just want to share this. I will be seeing my doctor again soon and will try to have something else added to see if I can make a difference.

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aramz Says:

This is the exact same situation with me too. Literally 100% the same down to a T. I've been struggling with this for quite sometime as well and I also gained 30+ lbs and everything else you said I've been experiencing. I've had no idea what to do (afraid of SSRIs) until very recently I realized that I think I felt better when I was on Bupropion SR 100mg rather than XR 300mg. I told my doctor I want to switch to SR 100mg (supposed to be 1 tablet twice a day, but I take both of them in the morning on an empty stomach). It has actually made me feel a bit better, its only been about 5 days though so I'm waiting to see

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